by Takesha G '11

I’m Just Sayin’

The election has been over for a while now and most people are looking forward to January 20th when president elect Barack Obama is sworn into office as the 44th president of the United States. Obama was making history even before winning the election. Mr. Obama has participated in one of the longest campaign runs ever to take place in this country and some might even say he ran one of the smartest campaigns ever seen in American history. As the first black democratic nominee for president he has definitely made a lot of people in this country proud. On Tuesday January 20, 2009 he will be inaugurated as the first African American president ever in history. Reading about all his accomplishments can easily impress people and give them a good outlook for our future in the next four years and maybe even beyond. This type of trust can cause a lot of pressure. But if this man can campaign nonstop for nearly two years, avoid assignation attempts and attract more attention than Bradgelina, Britney spears and the Olympics, you might say that he can handle it.
Or is that so? With our country in an economic slump and involved in a war in Iraq can this 47 year old former junior senator of Illinois really help us turn it all around? To me it seems a little bit too much. People are still high from this Obama-mania. Americans are amazed that this relatively young man (compared to people like Bush and McCain) could be educated, speak so well and be black. This country is used not used to seeing smart black men. In other countries predominantly black countries people are used to seeing black presidents and prime ministers. People are accustomed to seeing certain rappers and other public figures that embarrass the black race. So when Obama came around he refreshed the American public with his wit and charisma. It’s not entirely our fault. It’s just that we are not used to seeing people like him. It is also relief to many people to see a young vibrant politician when all they mostly see are older Caucasian men and women all over MSNBC and C-span.
Though positive, all of these are components to the disease sweeping the nation Obama-blindness. People act as though as soon as Obama’s is inaugurated, world hunger will end, AIDS will be cured, we will win the war and our economy will miraculously be restored. Obama’s nomination has shown its ugly side a little bit in the past few days. Some people were not comfortable with minorities to begin with and now that we’re about to have a black president it just makes them more uneasy. Minorities have been targeted negatively in the name of Obama in many incidents these past weeks. Some have had crosses burned in their yards and some people have actually been physically attacked. Racial tensions have increased and some have paid fatally for it like an Ecuadorian man who was killed by seven teenagers when they decided to go out to “kill some Mexicans.” I’m not Miss Cleo and I can’t tell you whether or not Obama will be a good president. All I want people to do is reflect on their expectations and maybe reconsider a little bit. Who knows maybe while he is our president some of the self proclaimed Bush haters might wish that he was given a third term. Yes the community is proud that this country finally decided to elect a black president and a lot are ecstatic that it is Obama, but the question remains; what will he do once he takes office?  I guess we will all have to wait and see.  He certainly has his work cut out for him.

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